Saturday, May 31, 2008

Everything You Want...

I just got back from our company beach trip and It was definitely a blast. Most of the details of which, I will talk about in a later post. I brought my bongos and my acoustic guitar just in case some people wanted to jam during the afternoon. Although I was mostly jamming using my bongos, I did pick up my guitar and played and sang one song.

This particular song was relevant to me long ago. I just love the way how there's a spin on the chorus on the last stanza of the song. Although the song no longer has any current relevance in my life, it is still fun to play and definitely a crowd pleaser (and I know very few crowd pleasing songs mind you as I'm more a percussionist, rather than a guitarist and/or vocalist).

I only found one exact result in my search for the music video of this song on YouTube which was posted by Sony BMG. It's unfortunate that they disabled the option to embed the video anywhere else. So I ended up picking one of the AMVs (Anime Music Video) with the song as its soundtrack. Since I love Naruto, I picked the Naruto AMV. Here is the AMV below along with the song's prose.

Everything You Want
by Vertical Horizon

Somewhere there's speaking
It's already coming in
Oh and it's rising at the back of your mind
You never could get it
Unless you were fed it
Now you're here and you don't know why
But under skinned knees and the skid marks
Past the places where you used to learn
You howl and listen
Listen and wait for the
Echoes of angels who won't return

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

You're waiting for someone
To put you together
You're waiting for someone to push you away
There's always another wound to discover
There's always something more you wish he'd say

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

But you'll just sit tight
And watch it unwind
It's only what you're asking for
And you'll be just fine
With all of your time
It's only what you're waiting for

Out of the island
Into the highway
Past the places where you might have turned
You never did notice
But you still hide away
The anger of angels who won't return

He's everything you want
He's everything you need
He's everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why

I am everything you want
I am everything you need
I am everything inside of you
That you wish you could be
I say all the right things
At exactly the right time
But I mean nothing to you and I don't know why
And I don't know why
I don't know...

Once again, I always find a different version of the song on YouTube. Below is a bootleg video of a live performance of the song by Vertical Horizon.

Cheese, you gotta love it at times. LOL!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Filipino Cab Driver Ingenuity...

Every so often in the morning as I take a cab to work, I catch a glimpse of ingenuity that cab drivers have in order to fix their door locks or knobs when they get busted. Although they essentially make their cabs look like pieces of junk, at least it doesn't cost them anything to fix it. And it never fails to induce a shake of my head, a brief smile, and a chuckle. LOL!

Alambre Door Handles...

Gives a whole new meaning to screwing in a cab...

Never knew the butt end of a metal spoon would prove so useful...

Milk in my cereal... Wires/screws/butt end of spoons for my car... Makes sense to me...


Monday, May 26, 2008

I Felt Alive...

I finally went through with jamming with Jazz Volunteers last night. And I must say it was a very humbling experience.

When I first got there lugging my two congas and some percs toys in a backpack, I went over to the band's table to greet the band. Mar looked at me blankly not knowing who I was. So I suppose he forgot who I am for the nth time. Wowee, on the other hand, remembered me and asked me if it was okay if I jam with them during their 2nd set. Of course, I was okay with that. It was a pleasure to even get invited to jam with them. Wowee lifted his hand pointing to the stage, and encouraged me to set up my gear already even though they haven't played their 1st set yet.

So I walked over to the stage and set-up rather quickly. Set-up time for me was shorter than usual because I didn't bring my whole rig that has chimes, cowbells, jam blocks, on it; just a pair of congas and some toys. I told the sound techs to set up the mic for my congas after the 1st set instead. So as to not bother the band so much until I came up to jam.

the 1st set of Jazz Volunteers was awesome as always. I noticed that Mar was exceptionally on his game that night compared to last week, which just further heightened my nervousness. There were also more people piling in the venue compared to last week. So the set-up and surroundings so far was a little more nerve-racking than I originally thought it would be.

A good friend of mine from Flipnation, Mina, was nice enough to meet up at 19East and act as moral support. Mina's friend Jess was there also. So if everything did go wrong when I jam with the band, at least I know that 2 people in the crowd won't be throwing rotten tomatoes at me. The pictures in this post were taken by Mina.

Time seems to slow to a crawl when you're nervously waiting, because the 1st set and the break in between the 1st and 2nd set seemed like an eternity. I was drinking beer at a pace faster than usual. The sound techs began to set-up the mic of my congas. I was surprised that they placed a mic for each one of my conga drums. Given how nice all the gear is and the fact the the sound techs really knew what they were doing, I was already sure that every nuance and mistake I make on stage will be heard by everyone.

When the band finally started their 2nd set, my heart was already racing. After playing a few of their originals, Wowee called up all the guest jammers to the stage.

To my surprise, one of the people called on stage aside from me was Pido. Although I don't particularly like the acoustic pop route he has taken, he certainly is a good musician. Surprisingly, his skill really shown through when I noticed that he was soloing in a jazz scale. I was rather impressed actually. It just goes to show that most pop musicians do have skill, it just isn't so evident in the music they play at times.

I jammed a total of 3 songs with the band. The 1st song we played was a nightmare. I really felt the delta between my own skill and their skill, as I lost time often during my solo. I could feel the drummer adjusting to me as I was getting off time, which was thoroughly embarrasing.

The 2nd song was the only song I actually was familiar with; Eric Clapton's "Change the World". I was more comfortable with this song. But they played a jazzed out version of it which threw me off a little.

When the 3rd song came around, it was a fast samba beat song. I was a little relieved because the speed of the song was more of my comfort zone than the previous two songs. The tumbao rhythm I learnt last year definitely came in handy with this song. I was obviously unfamiliar with the song because there was a part where the drummer and I have to exchange solo licks back and forth. And the rest of the band came in at the same time between solos between myself and the drummer. The saxophonist, Mike Guevarra, kept nodding at me whenever it was my turn to do a lick. So I almost always came in a little late with my lick. But at least, I think I did fairly well with that song.

My iPod was actually recording the audio the entire time. And as I reviewed how my playing went this morning, I felt that overall I did fine but didn't do great. I can really tell how dependent I was with my band's drummer, Balot, to give me queues to key parts of songs. With jazz music, the drummer doesn't keep time at all. The entire band really just has to know the timing on their own.

Wowee and Rommel (the bassist), thanked me for jamming, and told me I was more than welcome to come back again to jam with them. I probably won't be back to jam with them anytime soon. I'll go practice, take lessons, and try to get a whole lot better first before I try jamming with them again.

Although, last night was a definitely an experience to remember. It also humbled me, and made me appreciate what I have in SunDownMuse a whole lot more. I'm comfortable with SunDownMuse music, and when I solo on those songs, I know I'm in the zone. So now I get what Briggs was trying to tell me before. That as you play with other people, you end up going back to SunDownMuse and appreciate the music and its members even more. She's definitely right.

Well, at the very least, I can decisively say that I've jammed with some of the best jazz musicians in the country. Albeit, jammed at a subpar level. Nevertheless, I had a good time. All the nervousness prior to jamming, and the post-jamming insecurity are really signs that I am human. And that I am capable of emotions of excitement sprinkled with needless paranoia of precariousness. I felt alive.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nervous About Jamming Tonight...

There's this awesome jazz band called "Jazz Volunteers" that plays at 19East in Sucat every Sunday. It's composed of some of the greatest jazz musicians in the country, with special mention to kick-ass drummer Mar Dizon.

For those of you who have never seen Jazz Volunteers play, below is a video of Mar Dizon soloing with the band. You'll get what I mean on how incredibly talented this man is after watching the video.

Jinky Vidal (sultry vocalist of Freestyle), who sessions vocals for them, and Wowee (owner of 19East and prolific keyboardist of Jazz Volunteers), invited me to jam with them on their next gig when I went to watch them last week. Well, that very day has arrived. And I'm very nervous about it. Although I know for myself that I have grown in terms of skill as a percussionist, I don't have skill equal to any of the members of Jazz Volunteers, much less the experience in being in the music scene for as long as they have.

Yikes! I hope that I don't choke tonight and that they like my playing. This is the first time that I'm actually worried about what the band thinks of my playing more than the crowd. Perhaps downing a couple of beers before going on stage will help ease the tension I'm feeling. This will definitely be an experience to remember.

Wala lang, kwento lang.


Rhythmical Flirtations...

I put up a tribute to our drummer (Balot) on our band website. If you want to check it out, just click on the link below.

However, this post in my own personal blog is to talk about how much Balot has meant to me because of the music that we have shared over the years. He has given me many gifts in terms of learning timing and creativity. And he has shown me how utterly enjoyable it feels to be a percussionist.

Below are two versions of our cover of Sade's Smooth Operator from last year and one of his last gigs just recently. The band tacks on a Santana riff jam at the end of the song, which allows Balot and I to play around and jam to our hearts' content. Check it out below. along with a few pictures of past gigs that show Balot and I onstage.

Ayuyang Bar, Baguio

Mag:Net, Bonifacio High Street

Bela Bar, San Juan

I will surely miss this guy. I've been his percussive wingman for the entirety of my musical career so far. Take care in the land down under, Balot.


Friday, May 23, 2008

My New Toy...

After toiling about getting a Hang Drum, which is just way too expensive or too daunting of a task to acquire, I decided to just purchase the Roland Handsonic 10. It's the little brother of the Roland Handsonic 15. But the Handsonic 10 is newer and has some features that I like that aren't in the Handsonic 15. Not to mention that it looks a whole lot simpler to handle and a lot prettier.

For those of you who don't know what a Handsonic is, it is similar to an electronic drum pad that you see the likes of Roland, Yamaha, etc. have been producing. However, the biggest difference is that the Handsonic is made for hand percussionists while the rest can only be played with sticks.

Below is a demo video of what the Handsonic 10 can do. The guy demo-ing the thing is way too good. So I don't have an excuse, I have to get better at playing to sound that great on the Handsonic 10.

When I visited my family in New Jersey, my sister took me to the nearest Sam Ash, and lo and behold, it was there (queue in angelic voices singing in choir unison). And now, it's mine!!!! I splurged my money on the thing. I even bought the stand for it. And I'm thinking of getting my family to buy the optional foot pedal and foot switch that I can connect to it. So perhaps one of these days, I'll be able to play it on gigs. It sure beats lugging around two conga drums and a heavy gig bag. I love it!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Balot's Ozbound Gig...

Thursday (May 15, 2008) finally came around to bid farewell to our drummer Balot in traditional SunDownMuse fashion. What better way to send off Balot to the land down under, than to hold a kick-ass gig, along with other bands that he has grown to love. Despite the added stress of organizing the gig for Balot, I was glad that we finally pulled it off and the very night has arrived.

Most of the pictures here were taken by my good friend Saira. Aside from having a very nice SLR camera, she definitely has a good eye when it comes to taking photos.

Milagros Dancehall Collective

Milagros, or MDC, has been a favorite of ours eversince most of the original members from Brownman Revival broke away to form this dancehall band. Although, Brownman has continued their music and has thrived in their own right, we, personally, loved the new direction that Milagros has taken with their music.

Macky, the bassist, was typically awesome as usual. I just love the fact that his playing style is completely different depending on which band he is in. He also dons an equally different bass guitar for each band. In Milagros, he employs a more Gorillaz-esque bass style which still maintains his melodic signature upon close listening inspection.

They were missing Sappy again during this gig. So the much loved Shaggy-esque vocals was sorely missed. Regardless, MDC's overall performance made everybody bob their heads in sync. That's definitely a true testament of how good their music is, when the crowd feels "the riddum" (as always Robert puts it).


As this was our production, we kinda took our time setting up, which was extremely nice. Playing in other productions are usually on some form of loose schedule. When it's your turn to play, you have very little time to set-up because most bar sound techs don't know that they need to kill the dead air between bands with music. And dead air in gigs usually results in losing the crowd's attention.

We got to run a rather lengthy sound check jam. Hearing Charles, our guitarist, do his thang on guitar never ceases to amaze me. Although he has the skill to finger-tap and shred like the best of them, what I like the most about his style is the very well thought-out melodies that he comes up with on the fly. His adlib almost sounds written. That guy is just too good.

We let Balot pick out the set list for that night since this is one of his last gigs. Expectedly, he picked out our "Greatest Hits". Yes, we haven't released even one album yet. It's just a term we coined for the songs that we always automatically play on gigs when we haven't had the time to practice.

The highlight of our set for me is playing a cover song called "Smooth Operator" by Sade. Balot requested if an Australian counterpart of his in his company can join us to sing back-up vocals for the song. So Briggs called her out to join us on stage. The lady was a little shy and hesistant, saying that she doesn't know all the words to the song. But we're just jamming anyway. She can always just sing the chorus along with Briggs.

The best part of playing that song that night was the Santana-esque jam that we always tack to the end of that song. Balot was surrounded by friends and co-workers. So it would actually be a surprise if he didn't strut his stuff that night. And he did exactly that, in true funk drummer style fashion. The jam was fun because Balot and I were rhythmically flirting with each other. Engaging in percussion coitus with Balot has always been fun. But that night, it came together like it did back when we had a gig in Bar 42. I love it.

I posted a few more pictures of us playing in the SunDownMuse Website.

Goodbye Tracy

Goodbye Tracy came up next. We had to bump Liquid Jane down to the 4th slot in the band line-up because the boyz from Goodbye Tracy had work shifts starting by 7:00AM that night. This band's music is geared more towards mass appeal. It's the kind of music you'd hear as the soundtrack of Smallville, which makes it catchy. Gigo was pretty good that night. But I think a different type of music would really showcase how good that guy is on guitar. It was unfortunate that I do not have any pictures of them that night to post. I thought Saira was still around taking photos.

Liquid Jane

Liquid Jane showed up only as a 3 piece band. Erwin, their keyboardist was currently in the States, and Chad and company didn't want to miss Balot's despedida gig.

Drew, the drummer, was tight from beginning to end of their set. It's uncanny to see Drew do beats in 32 with such relative ease.

Gino, the guitarist, had to warm up a little. However, after the first song, the dude was amazing for the rest of the set. After they finished playing their song called "Hollow Tree", Balot stood and walked near the stage, and yelled at Gino, "BABAGEE!", with an accompanied "we're not worthy!" bowing motion.

Chad's (bassist and vocalist) banter between songs are always entertaining. He's good at injecting tasteful humor to keep people engaged during the set.

The night ended with most people trickling out already. SunDownMuse and a few others remained. Balot thanked everyone for a kick-ass night and a befitting send off for his Ozbound migration. I was so glad to see him very happy about his despedida gig. It made all the trouble I had to go through to make the night happen well worth it.

Surprisingly, I didn't even mind dragging all my heavy percussion gear upstairs to my appartment after getting dropped off. I was just generally content, with a smile on my face due to a very enjoyable and drunken night.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Noise Pollution...

I just got back from 19East in Sucat after a very wonderful night filled with great jazz music. I will blog about this night in a later post, since my drunken stupor has dulled my brain cells rendering me incapable of coming up with anything discernably lengthy to write. Instead, I leave you guys with a small sign that I noticed at a practice studio near BigSkyMind that I found rather amusing last Saturday.

Personally, I actually loathe riding cabs because the radio station they almost always have on is one of the 2 radio stations depicted in the sign above. I'm actually glad that I'm not the only one who feels that way with these 2 radio stations. It reminds me of a culture of a past relationship that I'd rather not indulge in ever again. As I finish the last sip of my mineral water bottle to prevent me from having a hangover tomorrow, cheers to those 2 radio stations. And God bless Bose Noise Cancelling headphones that tune out that crap from entering my ears as I ride a cab to and from work each day. Kailangan pa bang imemorize yan?


Friday, May 16, 2008

Experiencing Anti-Gravity...

I've been tripping out on Incubus lately because it sounds so good on my new Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones that I bought while I was in the States. This particular song is from Incubus' album called "S.C.I.E.N.C.E.", which is my all-time favorite Incubus album.

I like how they mixed funk elements with percussions. They even placed a tasteful saxophone solo in the middle. This songs kinda stands out from the rest of the heavier songs in the album.

Check out a music video that someone on the Net created of the song, along with the song's prose.

Summer Romance
By Incubus

I'm home alone tonight.
Full moon illuminates my room, and sends my mind aflight.
I think I was dreaming up some thoughts that were seemingly
possible...with you.
So I call you on the tin can phone.
We rendezvous by quarter-to, and make sure we're alone.
I think I've found a way for you and I to finally fly free.

When we get there, we're gonna fly so far away,
Making sure to laugh; while we experience anti-gravity.

For years, I kept it to myself.
Now potentialities are bound, are living under my shelf.
Simply choose your destination from the diamond canopy,
and we'll be there.
So I call you on the tin can phone.
We rendezvous by quarter-to, and make sure we're alone.
I think I've found the way for you and I to finally be free

When we get there, we're gonna fly so far away,
Making sure to laugh; while we experience anti-gravity.

As always, I like putting up a video of a different version of the song. The video below is an acoustic version of the song done by Incubus a while back.


Monday, May 12, 2008

US Trip Day 4

I woke up quite early that day. I suppose I was worried that I wouldn't have enough time to pack all my stuff and head to the airport in time for my flight. I went downstairs for the last time, to gorge on their tasty free breakfast. I couldn't get enough of the eggs and sausages downstairs. Druiry Inn may not be a 5 star hotel. But that damn free breakfast is awesome.

After breakfast, I took a shower, got dressed and packed the rest of my clothes. I checked out at the front desk, and took a shuttle to the airport. I arrived at the Lambert airport really early, about 2-3 hours before my flight. Which is something you do for international flights and not domestic flights. I figured I'd be couped up in my hotel room anyway if I didn't leave for the airport early.

Checking in was a breeze, surprisingly, because one of the idle aiport personnel at the self-check-in counters offered to help me out. For once, somebody that was helpful and accomodating. I went through security checks fine. The key with security checks is that you should put everything in your pockets in your handcarry bag prior to passing through the security check. This lessens the hassle of getting "bleeped" at the metal detector area and then going back again. Taking your shoes and belt off are already standard these days. So no use fretting about the inconvenience, and the fact that your pants might actually fall off as you walk past the metal detector. LOL!

The plane ride was painless except for the portion of the flight with a lot of turbulence. We went through a long stretch of thick clouds. The pilot even warned us of the incoming turbulence. It wasn't that bad. I've been in flights with much worse turbulence than that.

It was surreal to look out the window and see nothing but white though. Too bad the camera on my phone is crappy. It was really a sight to see.

I arrived at Newark airport in New Jersey, about 20 minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival time. This was actually a first in my entire trip. Most of the flights I've been on in this trip were delayed. I just ended up waiting for my little sis to pick me up. She didn't think my flight would come in early. So she left the house just in time for the scheduled arrival time.

It was nice seeing my little sis, Johanna (I call her Jaymee), again. When she pulled up in front of me in the airport, she quickly got out of the Rav 4, and gave me a tight hug. I actually haven't had a hug in months (neither romantic in nature or familial). I have a lot of love for my sis. So we just talked and caught up with each other on the way to their house in East Windsor.

When I arrived at the house, my Mom, John, and my older sister Janne (I call her Ate Jaydee), were all excited for my arrival at the house. The living room now looks like a baby's play pen instead of a living room, compared to the last time I've seen the house. Mom quickly went upstairs and brought down the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in the world; my little niece Kami (pronounced as "Cammy", my family has a knack of having weirdly spelt names or nicknames for their kids). She's 8-9 months old already. So she's grown from the pictures and videos of her that my sisters have been sending me.

My family warned me that Kami is actually very picky about who she likes to be with and play with. When Kami saw me, she tilted her head to the side and observed me for a few seconds. Then she smiled at me and raised her arms motioning that she wants me to carry her. My family was so happy when they saw Kami do that. So I took Kami into my arms and played around with her for a while.

Later that night we went out to eat dinner at Red Robin. Below is video I took from my crappy Treo 650, of Kami strapped in her baby seat.

Below are pictures of Kami taken from the restaurant that we ate at last night. She was actually very fidgetty when we got to the restaurant. I found it so adorable.

The food was great. As expected, servings in restaurants in the States are just way larger than anything in the Philippines. Their steak is huge. It seems a 16 ounce steak is just much larger in the States for some reason. The milkshake I had was fantastic. At that point, I already knew I was gonna gain major weight here in New Jersey. The food is just too good over there.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Take Me Home...

I'm getting rather obsessed with Zero 7. This particular song is from their "When It Falls" album. The song is so soothing to the point that it makes the silence late at night not so deafening. How I wish a girl would sing this to me.

Below is the music video of the song and its accompanying prose.

by Zero 7

Lost in cheap delirium
Searching the neon lights
I move carefully
Sink in the city aquarium
Sing in the key of night
As they're watching me

Take me somewhere we can be alone
Make me somewhere I can call a home
'Cause lately I've been losing my own

Wrapped in silent elegance
Beautifully broken down
As illusions burst
Too late to learn from experience
Too late to wonder how
To finish first

Take me somewhere we can be alone
Make me somewhere I can call a home
'Cause lately I've been losing my own

Take me somewhere we can be alone
Make me somewhere I can call a home
Won't you take me home
Won't you take me home
'Cause lately I've been losing my own
Won't you take me home

This is the live version of the song that got me obsessed with Zero 7 actually. I got so mesmerized with their lead vocalist. Such a sultry voice, and very easy on the eyes. Beauty that makes you shed a tear (sniff sniff, LOL!).


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

US Trip Day 3

After the 2nd enjoyable day in St. Louis, jet lag was surprisingly kind to me, as I woke up early enough to get ready for the latter part of BABW's planning session. Since people from BABW commented the previous night that I was a little overdressed, I decided to sport a different jacket and not wear a tie. I still look way formal than my usual self because the rest of my packed clothes were just t-shirts and jeans.

Maru and I had breakfast downstairs like yesterday. The crazy Frima boys picked us up in their van rental and we headed for the Bearquarters once again.

After a few initial pleasantries, we began the 2nd half of the planning session rather quickly. BABW really stick to their love of "furry friends" in their office facility. They allow pets in their office and seemingly treat them the same way like normal human employees. One of the resident pet dogs in their office, Milford, even has his own sofa/lounge area. And get this, Milford even has his own business card. His official BABW position in the company is "Chief Dawg".

This 2nd day of the planning session was a long one compared to the first day. We broke up into several smaller groups a number of times, brainstorming on different aspects of their Virtual World that can be improved upon. It was amazing that they set the stage for each group activity with themes and motifs that lead you to maintain the "bearriffic" BABW culture. I was surprised of their initial hesitation on the Virtual World the previous day, especially when these brainstorming session were set-up to ensure that they keep the BABW thematic experience in mind.

Build-A-Bear water, I found it funny that their bottled water stuck to the BABW theme as well. It tasted like normal water. Don't worry, I didn't start growing fur or anything like that when I drank it. LOL!

After a very long, yet very positive day of brainstorming ideas. Carrie and Dori compiled everybody's great ideas (even the post-it notes to flesh-out all the ideas). An online survey was later produced in order to vote on which ideas to prioritize on for the immediate future of the Virtual World.

BABW had a treat for us BABW vendors (Frima and DME). They gave us all tickets to the Cardinals vs. Astros baseball game scheduled later that night. So we went back to our respective hotel rooms to rest a bit, while trying not to pass out due to the jet lag. We then met up with the Frima boys and headed downtown to the baseball stadium.

When we arrived at the stadium, it took us quite a while to locate the nice box seats that BABW provided us. It started to rain heavily when we got to the stadium so the game was delayed 2 hours. I found it funny that they placed a large tarpulin looking sheet over the span of the entire baseball diamond. The first thought that came to mind was to head down to the field and play "slip 'n slide" on that large tarpulin. Dave mentioned that there was one time that someone did exactly that while dodging all the stadium security personnel as he "slipped 'n slid" across the large tarpulin sheet. I was tempted to do the same. But given the cold and the fact that I'm in a foreign country that might imprison me, I decided not to go ahead with it. LOL!

Nintendo Wii gaming in the box seats room was crazy. I didn't challenge anybody to a round of Wii Sports. I didn't want them to feel bad after I kick their ass so. I wasn't the DME Wii Sports Champion for 2007 for nothing. LOL!

The box seats had a room behind it solely dedicated to BABW folk. It had plenty of free food and drinks for you to sink you teeth in and quench your thirst. And the room was heated of course, because the temperatures were getting borderline cold even for me, who loves cold weather. Practically everybody in the stadium was sporting some kind of red shirt aside from myself and Maru. They really seem to take their Cardinals baseball really seriously in St. Louis.

After waiting for 2 hours, the rain finally subsided enough to begin the game. I watched in the blaring cold as the field crew began their long process of packing up the tarpulin sheet, while avoiding all the accumulated water on the sheet from spilling onto the baseball diamond. After 30 more minutes of tarpulin sheet packing, the finally started the game.

Dave and a few other BABW folk assumed I didn't know a thing about baseball. But little do they know, I was previously following MLB for a number of years back in highschool. Maru understood the baseball rules explained to her by Dave. But her interest lay on enjoying the company of BABW folk more than the game itself. LOL!

Since it was cold outside, I was practically alone sitting outside the heated room behind me. I was focused on watching the game, so I didn't mind the cold so much. I found the cold temperature relaxing, even though I constantly rubbed my hands and arms as each blaring cold breeze wooshed by me. Carrie sat beside me for a while and kept me company while watching. Her warm personality exuded so much, that I ended up focusing on my conversation with her, more than watching the game.

The Frima boys had their flight back to Quebec scheduled at 6:30AM the following day. So they had to leave before the game ended. Since they were our ride back to the hotel, we had to leave the game before its completion as well. It was very unfortunate as I was getting into watching the game. We said our thanks to all the BABW folks and bid them adieu. Right before we left, the game was at the bottom of the 4th inning, with the Cardinals leading 2 runs to zip. I have yet to check till this day who won that game. Perhaps I should do that right after writing this post. LOL!

The Frima boys drove back to the place where they rented their van. Pierre accidentally yanked out one of the handles at the back right before we arrived at the car rental place. That was totally hilarious since you have to pay for any damages made on a rental vehicle. He just tried to hide that fact that the handle was damaged as much as he could, and we all crossed our fingers that the car rental personnel wouldn't notice. The lady that inspected the van didn't notice a thing. We all just smiled at each other when she didn't even open the door to the back of the van to see the damaged handle. We softly muttered to each other, "Well done".

We took a complimentary shuttle back to our respective hotels. We bid the Frima boys adieu as well. Pierre reminded me that we should continue our good business conversation from the previous night. I told him I would get his contact information from Luc and continue our discussion remotely.

Before I tucked myself in bed and went to sleep, I smiled and gave myself another pat on the back. It was definitely a successful 2 day planning session with the client. And I thoroughly enjoyed the day, despite not finishing the Cardinals game.